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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at App State chapter.

With summer just around the corner, bathing suit shopping has been on the minds of every body-of-water enjoyer everywhere. But finding the perfect swimsuit for the summer months can seem pretty daunting, especially with the never-ending cycle of microtrends flooding our feeds. In recent years, Fast-fashion stores have taken full advantage of the newest trends, overwhelming us with poorly made, unethically produced swimsuits at unsustainable speeds. The trend cycle, along with the ethics of fast-fashion brands can be enough to drive you crazy when we just want a new swimsuit. 

Gigi Scholbi offers a solution to the swimsuit needy and the ethically conscious with her handmade, sustainable, and totally adorable bathing suit brand, Cheeki Swimwear. Based in Hawai’i, each Cheeki swimsuit is handmade and designed by Gigi using sustainable fabrics and accessories sourced from small businesses. 

Cheeki offers six collections that range in style and size, all unique from each other while all remaining distinctly Cheeki. Her first collection, “Mother Nature”, was inspired by Earth Day. “I want to do something green to represent the grass of Earth and brown to represent the foundation,” Gigi tells me. Surrounded by the beauty of Hawai’i, Gigi is never far away from inspiration. The vibrant colors of the island inspired her favorite collection, “Dulce Tropicana,” which incorporates bright hues and fruit themes with the sleek designs of the suit itself: “I want to stick to the seasons, and the colors that I feel inspired by,” she says. Each month, Gigi releases a new line of Cheeki, keeping the style fresh while also capturing Cheeki’s charm of sustainability and style.  

The newest collection of Cheeki, “Girl from Ipanema” shows its Brazilian inspiration, not only from the colors and cuts of the pieces but by the crochet work, which is handmade by Gigi’s aunt in Brazil. “I am so obsessed. Like they’re so cute and so different,” Gigi tells me. The designs offer a refreshing new look to the crochet trend that is reflected in the bikini style today, with a distinct Cheeki flair and a handmade feel that cannot be replicated by fast fashion. 

“I feel like when you make things with your own hands… once it’s made, you have so much love and so much appreciation,” Gigi tells me. The commitment to sustainability is apparent in every aspect of Cheeki. Each swimsuit is made by hand, with love and little waste. I wondered how Gigi is motivated to stay sustainable, even though each collection takes hours to make. She told me that before starting her brand, Gigi recognized a theme in all the swimsuits she was buying: poor quality. Pricey swimsuits, made with cheap fabrics that didn’t fit well (ugh!) steered Gigi in the direction of sustainable fashion. She doesn’t mind sacrificing a few hours to guarantee her swim line is affordable and sustainable and always made with love. “Whenever I make a swimsuit, and I see someone else wearing it, I’m like, so happy.” she says.

Cheeki’s refreshing charm comes from the love that is poured into every swimsuit, from its source material in small businesses to its relevant design that ties sustainability and trends together with a bikini strap. The appreciation of nature, both in design and creation, makes Cheeki stand out as a brand that embodies a harmonious blend of environmental consciousness and style, serving as proof of the beauty of sustainable practices. 

McCall Hope

App State '26

Hi y'all! My name is McCall Hope, I'm one of Her Campus at App State's Co-Campus Coordinators. Originally from Spartanburg, SC, I'm currently a Sophomore at App, double majoring in Political Science and Anthropology. In my free time, I enjoy reading, crafting, exploring art (especially fashion), and all things outdoors!